Independent Caribbean Film Producers

The Skin wows Toronto audiences

On the red carpet (L-R) actor Peter Williams, Bernice Moore Pinnell, producer Mitzi Allen, director Howard Allen, Gordon Pinnell at the Toronto premiere of The Skin . (Photo by Howard Queeley

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Amazing, Excellent and “Well Told” are some of the descriptive words coming out of Toronto after last Friday’s screening of the thriller The Skin by HAMAFilms Antigua.

The Skin was one of the most anticipated films at this year’s CaribbeanTales Toronto Film Showcase 2011. The red carpet premiere was co-hosted by the Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda in Toronto Janil Greenaway and in attendance were members of the Caribbean community diplomatic corps, the Antigua and Barbuda Association along with actor Peter Williams and Jazz vocalist Charmain Bailey who wrote and performed the movie’s theme song “The Wrath”.

A movie review written by Elizabeth Abbott has already made its way to the popular Huffingtonpost.com, in which she says The Skin will make audiences want to jump out of theirs.

“The Skin’s special effects are as sophisticated and otherworldly as the dialogue is simple and matter-of-fact. This is a triumph (among many) in a film produced for the stupendously low dollar figure of US $100,000. It is also a tribute to Mitzi Allen’s producer’s genius, who ensured that every dollar earned by product placement, from rolls of Cottonelle in the bathroom to a whirlwind shopping spree and fashion show in Antiguan clothing shops, was stretched to gossamer thinness,” Abbott writes.

“The characters were ably acted by emerging Antiguan actors (Aisha Ralph as Lisa, Brent Simon as Michael) and renowned Jamaican actors Carl Bradshaw (Vision) and Peter Williams (Detective Morgan). Antiguan dancer and choreographer Veron Stoute Humphreys, who made a sensational acting debut as the soucayant, deserves special mention,” the reviewer notes.

“I wanted,” director Howard Allen explained, “to tell the story of Caribbean folklore and history as simply as possible, without recrimination and retribution.”

Antigua & Barbuda Consulate General Janil Greenaway greets the guests as they arrive at the reception. (Photo by Howard Queeley)

“The post-screening outpouring of applause and congratulations from audience members, men and women who jumped up and declared their pride in his achievements, were proof of his success. By juxtaposing a narrative that was a combination of thriller and supernatural drama, Allen has developed a confident, laconic cinematic style that speaks volumes to his passion and commitment.”

“The Skin was amazing. Mitzi and Howard you both deserve an award,” said Camille Selvon Abrahams of Animae Caribe, Trinidad. “Horror, humour a mixture of Caribbean accents based in beautiful Antigua. This film should be seen by all Caribbean Filmmakers. This genre has never been explored by Caribbean film makers so successfully.”

Cheston Beckford who was also at the Toronto screening wrote on Facebook it was a “super, excellent movie. Congrats on a great showing. Job well done by you and your team. Looking forward to many more movies from HAMA.”

Actor Peter Williams, who plays the lecherous Detective Morgan in the film, got the chance to see the completed project in Toronto. “I waited a long time to see this movie and it was well worth the wait. I’m proud to have helped prepare Brent and Aisha for their star turns. Howard got the best out of them,” he said.

“This is a Caribbean film with a captivating storyline, consistent pacing, plenty laughs (both humorous and nervous) and performances to be proud of. Certainly not out of place in Toronto at the same time as the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. This film will entertain wider audiences, mark my words. The Skin delighted the audience in Toronto on Friday night. I was proud to be associated with such an accomplished film.”

The Skin will be shown at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, Friday September 30, with upcoming dates for the International Black Film Festival in Nashville, Tennessee and New York in October.

You can catch behind the scene videos of their tour, photos from the premiere and read about the making of The Skin on the HAMAFilms Antigua Facebook page. Watch the movie trailer, see the behind the scenes video and read about the making of The Skin on http://theskinahamafilm.wordpress.com.

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